Thursday, April 27, 2006

On Assignment: Shreveport, Louisiana

"Ritchie Pryor" by Wes Aldridge

Well, it hasn't been your typical summertime in Shreveport. It has been something close to Hell for photography.

The rain has been pouring (or the sky has just plain sucked with gray clouds) since Monday here. This magazine requires traveling between 10 parishes (counties for those of you who are unfamiliar with the lay-o-the-land in Louisiana) and getting lots of exterior photographs. Pretty much been an impossibility thus far. Anyway, that's neither here nor there at this point. Some days blow, so, suck it up, right?

We found this really cool area that was under the bridge leading across the river to Bossier City from Shreveport. We all know I love neons and I wanted to grab this shot. It was late at night so the usual suspects were lurking about, preying on tourists. This gent comes up and jumps in front of my camera and tripod and starts begging to do his Richard Pryor impression. He was killing my shot, so the only thing to do was "make" him the shot.

Before he asked for some cash, I told him if he did his best Richard Pryor impression and let me shoot a portrait while he acted, then I would give him the four dollars cash I had in my pocket. He instantly got right down to business. He made us laugh pretty hard for a good long while. After a bit he started talking about Crack Rock being the best high in the world and that Richard Pryor died from smoking an ounce of that stuff at a time. Needless to say things took a turn for the wierd and I wanted to get the hell out of there. I handed him the sweaty bills and called it a wrap.